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Shoshana Cardin - 30-Aug-2001 - Weaving Women's Words


Published August 30, 2001


Oral historian Elaine Eff interviewed Shoshana Shoubin Cardin on August 30, September 4 and 7, and October 3, 2001 at her home in Baltimore County, Maryland as part of the Jewish Women’s Archive "Weaving Women's Words" project.

Known by presidents and prime ministers, Shoshana Shoubin Cardin has achieved iconic status in the world of international Jewish diplomacy. The daughter of chalutzim (pioneers), Shoshana was born in 1926 in Palestine and came to the United States a year later. Raised in a committed Zionist family, Shoshana was an avid student who excelled in both Jewish and general studies. After studying at Johns Hopkins University's McCoy College and UCLA, she taught elementary school and married attorney, Jerry Cardin. They had four children, Steven, Ilene, Nina and Sanford, and were among the first Jews to move to "rural" Baltimore County, just outside the Beltway. Continuing in her parents' footsteps, the Cardin home became a gathering place for family, community and political events. An activist and leader in numerous local organizations, Shoshana also rose through the ranks to become the first woman to lead major, national Jewish organizations: Council of Jewish Federations, United Israel Appeal, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL), the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ), and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). A visionary leader, Shoshana was most recently instrumental in creating the Shoshana S. Cardin Jewish Community High School, Baltimore's first transdenominational Jewish high school.

Shoshana Cardin photo: Credit Joan Roth. Joan Roth's website

In the early 2000s, the Jewish Women's Archive conducted oral history interviews with 30 Jewish women living in Baltimore and another 30 in Seattle. Born in the early decades of the 20th century, these women lived through decades of political, social, and economic upheaval, as well as dramatic changes in expectations and opportunities for women. Doctors and lawyers, teachers and saleswomen, judges and social workers, homemakers and community volunteers, the narrators represent a wide range of backgrounds, affiliations, and experiences of American Jewish women. To find out more and to see the online exhibits based on this project, visit Jewish Women's Archive/baltimore and Jewish Women's Archive/seattle

The complete audio recordings and transcripts of the interviews are available on the Internet Archive.


This project was made possible in part by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Brenda Brown Lipitz Rever Foundation, and the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, Inc. In Baltimore, the project was a collaboration with the Jewish Museum of Maryland; in Seattle, with the Museum of History and Industry.



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